Maury County Mayoral Candidate David Baker: ‘God Had Other Plans’ for Pastoring and Politics

Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Maury County mayoral candidate David Baker about his background and the topic of separation of church and state.

Leahy: We are joined in-studio by a candidate for mayor of Maury County, Mr. David Baker. Good morning, David.

Baker: Good morning, Michael. Great to be here.

Leahy: It’s great to have you here as well, David. I don’t believe I’ve ever interviewed a political candidate who has 11 children. That would be you.

Baker: That is. Eleven children. We love it. My wife is number eight of 14. We met in bible college, and she told me that she wanted to have at least eight because she was number eight. And when she was a little girl and she told her mom, she said, Mom, if you didn’t have eight, I wouldn’t be here. I want to have eight when I get to be a mommy. That was her little-girl philosophy. So when she told me that, I said, okay, I love kids. I’ll try to help you take care of them, not thinking any woman is going to want to go through that eight times. That just does not seem like a lot of fun.

Leahy: Your wife has had 11 children. Your background is you were raised in Santa Fe in Maury County.

Leahy: Santa Fe, Tennessee. We do this Taking the Fifth quiz. And one of the questions, I don’t think I’ll be able to ask it now, but one of the questions that I have stored up is, how do you spell, how do you pronounce S-A-N-T-A-F-E? Because most people will say, right, santa fay. But no, it is santa fee.

Baker: That’s it.

Leahy: So you grew up in Santa Fe. Your dad worked with DuPont?

Baker: DuPont company. And they had a downturn economy in the late ’70s. And when I was in the middle of sixth grade we had to move. Transferred to Iowa.

Leahy: Transferred to Iowa. Where in Iowa?

Baker: Fort Madison, southeast corner, right on the Mississippi River.

Leahy: The southeast corner. I know I’ve probably driven through it. What was your time like in Iowa?

Baker: It was rough. We moved in the middle of the school year and bullying was really bad. I got in six fights the first week.

Leahy: Bullying in Iowa?

Baker: In Iowa.

Leahy: My goodness.

Baker: It’s a major in so many schools and boy, problems. But then, to get along, I started trying to change, to be a part like them, and got into alcohol and then drugs and moved out of the house when I was in high school.

Told my parents I wouldn’t live by their rules, finished high school in a party apartment, and then joined the Army. So no one’s going to tell me what to do.

Leahy: You were a paratrooper in the Army?

Baker: Paratrooper, yes. Fort Jackson, Fort Gordon, Fort Benning. Korea for a year and Fort Bragg my last year.

Leahy: So after you got out of the Army as a paratrooper, and you spent three years there?

Baker: Three years in the army.

Leahy: Then you went and went to bible college.

Baker: Yes. Well, my plan was the Army was paying for college and law school, and I was coming back in the military as a military attorney, retire at 38, sell the law practice, that was my plan. And God had other plans and I ran from it, and God finally got my attention.

I went to bible college that fall and met my wife, finished in three years, then a youth pastor in California. And then we went to Columbia, Tennessee, right at 30 years ago.

Leahy: Thirty years ago. A long time. And so you’ve been a pastor there. Now you’re currently also a chaplain.

Baker: Yes. Chaplain at the Maury County Jail and done some chaplain at nursing homes and health companies. But chaplain at the Maury County Jail and pastoring.

Leahy: Why on Earth (Baker chuckles) would a chaplain and pastor decide you want to run for county executive in Maury County?

By the way, it is, as you know, Maury County, it’s that bastion of freedom, that turbocharged engine of economic growth. That’s a phrase that Andy Ogles used when he was here with us.

Baker: The last thing I ever wanted to be was a preacher. And then God turned my mind on that. And the second last thing I’d ever want to do is be a ‘politician.’ The Republican Party asked me to speak at the veterans dinner in November.

Leahy: Of this year?

Baker: This year.

Leahy: So until November, this year, the thought of you being a political candidate for anything was not on your mind.

Baker: Never. I’m always a part of the party. I go to the events and usually many times they ask me to pray. And I’m glad to be a part and speak and preach on Biblical American issues that I believe we should cover. It’s amazing how many pastors don’t get involved and don’t have anything to do with that. And I think that’s wrong.

Leahy: We were talking about this before, during the break here, famous pastor David Lipscomb, way back in the 1890s, namesake of Lipscomb University, a man of Christ.

He basically said his view was Christians should not even vote. And there are some in that denomination, very few that still abide by that. But to me, that seems entirely counter to what America is about. Your thoughts?

Baker: Absolutely. And when I spoke that night, I talked about the separation of church and state. It’s amazing how many people do not understand that. They think if you say Jesus or Christian or anything like that, you’re violating that.

And it’s not. Separate from church and state is very simple: Congress shall make no law establishing a religion. The countries that they came from had state religions – Church of England, Catholic, Presbyterian, and Lutheran.

And in America, we didn’t want that, by the way, most of the colonies had state religions. But the federal government started and they made that First Amendment that said Congress shall not make a law establishing a religion.

They didn’t want to make Baptist or Presbyterian or Episcopal the religion of the country, because when that happens now, the others are persecuted.

It did not mean that Christians shouldn’t be a part. In fact, many of them had morality laws where you couldn’t run for office unless you were faithful to a church.

That’s how big it was back then. So it’s amazing how it’s changed. Nowadays, oh, if you’re a Christian, they don’t even want you to be a part of that.

Listen to the interview:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.



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